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Millionaire John Goodman, Battling DUI Manslaughter Conviction, Disputes Blood Tests

| August 28, 2017

John Goodman dui manslaughter

John Goodman.

Attorneys for a Palm Beach County millionaire convicted of DUI manslaughter will go before the Florida Supreme Court this week to challenge state rules for testing blood-alcohol levels in drunken-driving cases.

The hearing Wednesday is part of years of legal wrangling in the high-profile case of John Goodman, who was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison in the 2010 traffic death of Scott Patrick Wilson.

Justices will hear arguments about whether the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has adequate rules to ensure that blood-alcohol tests conducted in DUI cases provide accurate results. The arguments will focus, at least in part, on allegations that the state doesn’t have adequate safeguards to prevent drawn blood from clotting — potentially resulting in artificially high measurements of blood-alcohol levels — and doesn’t require proper screening of samples.

“Because neither the rules nor the FDLE-approved standard operating procedures require screening and documenting, criminal defendants have no guarantee that the blood samples tested for use in their criminal trials are scientifically reliable,” Goodman’s attorneys wrote in a December 2016 brief. “More specifically, a criminal defendant has no guarantee that he or she will know when his or her sample is clotted or irregular because the rules do not require screening or documentation, or rejection of unfit samples. Without adequate procedures in place, there is no way to ensure the scientific reliability of the blood test result.”

But Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is asking the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling last year by the 4th District Court of Appeal that rejected Goodman’s arguments. Earlier, an administrative law judge also sided with the state.

Blood-alcohol tests in suspected DUI cases are rooted in what is known as a state “implied consent” law. Under that law, people effectively agree to be subject to blood- or breath-alcohol tests when they receive driver’s licenses.

“The department’s rules sufficiently regulate blood draws and blood alcohol testing in a manner that ensures the reliability and accuracy of blood alcohol test results for purposes of Florida’s implied consent law,” attorneys in Bondi’s office argued in a March brief. “Based on all the evidence presented, Goodman’s challenge — grounded in alleged problems stemming from blood clots and hemoconcentration — fails.”

Goodman, whose DUI manslaughter case drew heavy media attention, sought during his trial in Palm Beach County circuit court to exclude blood-alcohol test results because of alleged problems with the testing rules. But the issue was sent to an administrative law judge because it involved questions about the validity of administrative rules approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

As an example of the details raised in the case, Goodman’s attorneys contend that a state rule does not properly spell out the type of needle to be used in drawing blood in DUI cases. They argue that a type of needle used on Goodman has a higher chance of blood clotting — and resulting in artificially elevated blood-alcohol levels.

In a separate proceeding from the issues going before the Supreme Court this week, the 4th District Court of Appeal in July upheld Goodman’s conviction. The appeals court rejected a series of arguments, including a contention that investigators violated Goodman’s rights by not getting a warrant before drawing blood.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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7 Responses for “Millionaire John Goodman, Battling DUI Manslaughter Conviction, Disputes Blood Tests”

  1. Sw says:

    Sounds like he had enough $$ for a limo ride.smh

  2. Lou says:

    …..and we have many, many individuals in jail because they have no money for bail…..

  3. Komodo Dragon says:

    It’s Florida’s implied consent law and as an attorney for this millionaire Goodman, he should be well versed on a consent law that is applicable in the state of Florida. Knowing that is the case, it then makes this lawyer a milkman. Squeezing the udders for buckets full of money all while providing hope his client has no chance getting an overturned conviction.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If there was alcohol involved at all and a person is killed this man deserves to be jailed. It shouldn’t matter how high the alcohol level is.

  5. Just the truth says:

    money talks.

  6. Concerned Observer says:

    Money Talks and S##T Walks.

    I am surprised to see this article in FLAGLER LIVE as it happened in Palm Beach several years ago. John Goodman is the 53-year-old billionaire founder of the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida. This dirt bag has (or at least had) more money than god when he drove his Bentley into 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilsons car as he was stopped at a stop sign in the early morning hours. The force of the crash drove Scott’s car into a canal, where he died.

    State prosecutors “Alleged”, that Mr. Goodman likely had 16 to 18 drinks before driving the night of the crash. They explained to jurors that Goodman walked away from the accident, and when he did finally make phone calls, he called his girlfriend and a friend before calling 911. An autopsy proved Scott Wilsons cause of death was drowning and not from the impact of the crash.

    Mr. Goodman and his battery of attorneys will no doubt continue his legal battles through yet more frivolous motions and appeals until his money runs out. If you would like to read more about the retrial, countless motions and appeals that have already transpired (and make your blood boil), GOOGLE “John Goodman” but include “DUI Manslaughter” to filter out John Goodman, the actor. All attempts to skate on his two previous convictions have failed. This is yet one more act of “throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks…”

  7. Alphonso Zeimers says:

    Of course he’s not guilty. Rich people and politicians are never guilty. The only guilty
    people are common slobs like me and you.

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